'Happy Days' Merchandise Case Heads To Trial
Cast members from hit sitcom Happy Days are preparing for a court battle in their ongoing fight with TV bosses for a cut of profits from merchandising sales.
Actors Marion Ross, Anson Williams, Don Most and Erin Moran and the widow of Tom Bosley launched a $10 million lawsuit against CBS network chiefs last year, accusing them of committing fraud by withholding money from sales of Happy Days-themed memorabilia which features their images.
They were handed checks ranging from $6,000 to $6,500 as compensation, but the stars vowed to press ahead with their case. They suffered a setback in October when a Los Angeles Superior Court judge threw out the fraud claim, but the fight continued as a breach of contract case.
Last week, a judge ruled the lawsuit could go to trial and set a start date of July 17th - and Most, who portrayed Ralph Malph on the show, is looking forward to his day in court.
During an interview on Good Morning America on Monday, he admitted he was surprised to learn that his former Happy Days co-star Henry Winkler had signed a different contract from the rest of the cast and secured his own financial future with profits from merchandise featuring his character The Fonz.
He said, "I never received anything for all of that merchandise. (Winkler) had separate deals from the five of us. Henry's been being paid for merchandise all this time. Isn't that funny Henry was paid but we weren't? So there's something not right about that."
Another Happy Days star, actor-turned-director Ron Howard, is not part of the legal action.